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A Fishy Story

By Nic Smith, 🕔Mon, Mar 21st, 2011


It was late summer and the darkness was beginning to set in. I was fishing a part of the Harrison river that was fairly secluded, just to one side of a train bridge. It really was a good spot.

There was a small beach that led into a rocky area under the bridge. The collection of rocks spread out creating a small peninsula that slowed down the flow of water of the beach area just before it.

When I arrived at the spot there was a man, his son, and a dog already there. The man was fly fishing, and I use the term loosely. Maybe it would be more appropriate to say he was trying to fly fish. It was anything but graceful to say the least. The young boy was totally fixated on a toy machine gun which he waved and pointed at the little dog, if you could call it that. It was one of those little curly hared things with a yappy bark. It was a peculiar sight to watch, I must have just stood there and watched the three of them for several minutes.

The man had hip waders on and was about fifteen feet from the beach. He was one of those weekend warrior types. The kinda guy who had all the gadgets and gear but didn´t have the faintest idea of how to use them. In a way I guess I   felt sorry for those types of people. They mean well but because of their lack of experience nothing ever seems to go right for them. Such was the case with this one.

About ten minutes after I had arrived and already caught two Cutts, he managed to catch something also, only it wasn´t a fish. It happened to be the rather large maple tree directly behind him. Not paying much attention to him, I didn´t realize what he had done until I heard a loud curse and some splashing around in the water. He had gone to all the trouble of putting on waders and wading out till the water was up to his waist to avoid any complications with cast interference and he still managed to find the bush with his fly. I couldn´t help but let out a small chuckle which must have been muffled by the sound of thrashing water as he angrily cursed his way back to the beach and began to search for his fly which by now he had snapped from the leader.

The young boy had given up harassing the yappy dog and decided to aid in his father´s search. This gave me some time to relax and enjoy the moment while the three-ring circus broke for an intermission. Buy this time I had already caught three nice sized cutts, which I was planning on bringing back to camp, I was very satisfied with my performance and decided to fish for another couple of minutes before I would return to camp. Maybe get in one more good fight as it was beginning to get dark. As I was doing this, one of the strangest most unusual things that has ever happened to me in my entire fishing career occurred, as if the band of monkeys still searching over in the bushes wasn´t enough.

A small airborne object slowly moved over my fishing spot in a hovering zigzag motion. At first glance I thought it was some kind of small bird, maybe a sparrow, they were always around at night after the bugs. But it was moving way to slow to be a sparrow. Maybe a humming bird I thought but then dispelled that notion with the fact that I´ve never seen any humming birds buzzing around this late in the evening.

It continued to hover before beginning to dive bomb my fly. My line was about twenty feet from the shore and my tiny stone fly was resting innocently on top of the water.

Whatever it was swooped down, picked up my stone fly and began flying in my direction. At this point I was a little stunned and didn´t really know what to do. If I should pull the line, give a sharp back cast, or just drop the rod and run for cover. Instead of doing something I just decided to do nothing. It carried the fly closed till it was just above me. Then for some reason it seemed to loose all aeronautical sense and plummeted to the sandy beach two feet in front of me.

It rolled and flapped around on the beach tangling itself in the monofilament line which the fly was connected to. As it did this I got a good look at it and saw what it actually was. I wasn´t sure of what to do. If I should try to untangle it so it could fly away or just leave it alone. Then as quickly and mysteriously as it had appeared it was out of the tangled mess of line and on its way.

As I walked back to camp I thought about the man, his son, and the yappy dog, and how they were part of one of the most unusual evenings of fly fishing I have ever encountered. And I began to think of how I was going to tell my friends back at camp the most peculiar story of the time I caught a bat while fishing the Harrison River.

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